Intern Residency Program

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Each summer, the Will Steger Wilderness Center hosts interns for a 12- week residency at the Center. Interns assist in all aspects of caring for and improving both the land and its structures, including learning how to nourish soil, grow food, construct stone walls, manage forests, install and maintain renewable energy systems, and many other skills. Interns also provide the basis of the community around which all of the Center’s programming is built.

Apprentice Program


An integral part of the hands-on education offered by the Center, the apprentice program relies on masters in each field providing mentorship for people interested in developing skills leading to self-sufficiency. This past summer, the Master Stone Mason apprentice program led by Will Steger and resident master stone masons took a major step forward with a six-week engagement of youth learning the trade. In addition, leaders and instructors from Summit Academy OIC attended the Center this past year for a two-week onsite building project embedded in their curriculum, with the Will Steger Wilderness Center providing hands-on learning in vital life and trade skills.

Learn More about:
>>>Summit Academy Apprentices
>>>Stone Masonry Masters

Service Learning Program


For the past seven years, the Will Steger Wilderness Center has worked with the Cambridge campus of Anoka-Ramsey Community College on a model program to establish targeted partnerships with post-secondary institutions which offer their students credit for community service as part of their classroom curriculum. Students with limited opportunities participate in hands-on service projects, including clearing brush, construction, solar panel installation, and other projects.

Through this program, students gain experience in working as a team, problem solving, leadership and other skills they acquire in the process of doing the work. The program has been extremely successful, with many students reporting transformative experiences. It will serve as a model for other college and university environment programs seeking hands-on experiential learning components for their classes.

Learn More About:
>>>Anoka Ramsey Service Learning at Steger Wilderness Center
>>>Conservation Corps
>>>University of St Thomas Green Team

News & Updates

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    Designs for Steger Wilderness Center Forge Ahead

    In August of 2016, third-year Architecture students were challenged with one of the program’s largest and most innovative projects yet: to design [...]
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    Youth Undergrowth

    When the gales of this summer’s big storm blew beyond the Steger Wilderness Center, it seemed to have trailered in its own recovery crew. A team [...]
  • Will, Jim, resident interns and stonemasonry apprentices pose in front of the new stone arch wall.

    Piecing Together Stone, Wisdom and Dreams

    Will, Jim, resident interns and stonemasonry apprentices pose in front of the new stone arch wall.Smoke billowed from old coffee cans, [...]
  • Mike DeBoer

    Mike DeBoer lives in Stark, Minnesota, when his summer residency as a master carpenter at the Steger Wilderness Center is over. When in Stark, [...]
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    A Blue Fourth

    Independence Day at the Steger Wilderness Center Story and photos by Nick SallenAs the morning sun rose into the clear skies, my father, [...]
  • Mitchell Bentley

    Mitchell Bentley already has a memorable story to tell. One evening in Hobo Village, he watched as Jasper the retired sled dog was barking at a [...]
  • Michael Payne

    Michael Payne goes by the nickname “Milo.” He lives in Elk River where he likes to D.J., play music, run track, fish and draw. As an [...]
  • Matt Wente

    For Matt Wente, this is the first time he’s been away from his home in Glencoe for this long. Although he misses his parents and his cats, he [...]